Friday, March 23, 2007

Why Iran Hates the US

With all the back and forth on Iran in the news, especially today's incident between the Royal Navy and Iran, I thought it would be good to look up a bit of history on the coup that placed the Shah into power. It involved the usual suspects, as well as some people might not realize were involved. England and America were involved. MI6 and the CIA were involved as well as the US military in the personage of General Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. father of the Desert Storm General. In addition the BBC was actually used to air the code word over the air that the coup was on.

The history is as follows. Britain prior to WWII was in it's colonial age, and the large oil fields of Iran did not escape their attention. They tried to install puppet leaders in Iran who would of course sell them the Iranian oil at no real benefit to the Iranian people.

In 1933 for example, while Hitler was dreaming of greater conquest of Europe, the English forced a 32 year renewal of their rights to get all the oil they wanted from Iran with no increase for inflation. Seriously. They already had rights lined up until 1961, 28 years later, but that wasn't good enough, so they "secured" Iran's oils until 1996. This was in 1933, remember, so it was good long term planning.

After WWII, where both England and the USSR had both invaded and occupied Iran, a nationalist movement had begun to swell, and the Iranian government began to take their duties seriously. The Iranian Parliament's oil committee studied the contracts under the influence of representative Mohammed Mossadeq.

Nov. 25, 1950, the specific Supplemental Agreement was put to a vote and Mossadeq's influence resulted in a "no" vote. Mossadeq was now providing the backbone with which Iran would attempt to reclaim its self-destiny. On March 15, 1951, the Iranian parliament voted to nationalize Iran's oil industry and on May 6, parliament elected Mossadeq the Prime Minister of Iran.

Well, any student of UK and American history know of course what was bound to happen next. Iranians in control of their own oil was intolerable. UK spooks such as Norman Derbyshire, and Americans such as Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. were involved in a plan to topple the democratically elected government in Iran and place somebody more attuned to our needs.

The Shah was our man that we wanted in there, but we weren't even sure that he wanted to permit it. He was having cold feet. Thousands of documents were destroyed, those that are left are highly classified. Tactics that we did support included counterfeiting Iranian money to destroy their economy, fake uprisings paid for with our money, and bombings of religious leaders homes to provoke outrage.

Professor Mark Gasiorowski of LSU who is considered an expert on the history of the events writes:

Perhaps the most general conclusion that can be drawn from these documents is that the CIA extensively stage-managed the entire coup, not only carrying it out but also preparing the groundwork for it by subordinating various important Iranian political actors and using propaganda and other instruments to influence public opinion against Mossadeq. This is a point that was made in my article and other published accounts, but it is strongly confirmed in these documents. In my view, this thoroughly refutes the argument that is commonly made in Iranian monarchist exile circles that the coup was a legitimate "popular uprising" on behalf of the shah.

The BBC was involved in a peculiar way. They admit now that they were involved in helping give the go call to the revolution through MI6 agent Norman Derbyshire.

"Iran had just nationalised the very oil fields that had powered Britain through two world wars. Downing Street wanted them back. London paid Iranian agents to sow seeds of dissent in Tehran. Then, to win American support for a coup, the men from the Ministry fanned fears of a Russian invasion.

"Even the BBC was used to spearhead Britain's propaganda campaign.

"In fact,Auntie (the BBC) agreed to broadcast the very code word that was to spark revolution."

As of now, the CIA still has witheld releasing the remaining papers they have left. As a matter of fact, they have declassified one sentence out of the documents.

That sentence reads: "Headquarters spent a day featured by depression and despair."

What this means now is a great deal. Americans are totally unaware of what transpired in Iran in the 1950's. But it can't be looked upon just that way. An entire generation of Iranians grew up during the rule of the Shah, knowing that we put him there until he was toppled in 1979. What it has to do with now is a question that is very debatable, except that it isn't very debatable to Iranians. They learn and know this history. Their thuggish repressive governments self justify every time we rattle our sabers. They literally can get away with murder by reminding people that the US who is talking down to Iran is the same government that toppled their democracy. Without understanding this history, one can not adequately deal with Iran. I am in no way a fan of this government. Their leader is anti semetic, they are repressive towards women, brutal towards dissent, and freedom of expression. I just hope that knowing some of the history will help us all to realize where we came from, and what paths need to be taken to change things there.

It will never happen, but a good idea would be an apology. We were wrong to topple your government and steal your oil might actually be believed if we were the least bit sincere about it. But instead we act like it never happened. How can the Iranians, good minded Iranians take us seriously about our love of democracy when we not only destroyed theirs but even worse acted as if it is an event that isn't worth even remembering?